The Ultimate Buyer's Guide to Forklift Trucking
Do you remember that scene in the movie Forrest Gump when Forrest’s best friend Bubba speaks of shrimp in every imaginable way that’s known to man? If you don’t, Bubba, a former shrimp boater, calls shrimp the “fruit of the sea” and in one scene gives Forrest an all-inclusive menu of shrimp-related items.
You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it and sauté it. There’s shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, and shrimp gumbo. You can pan fry it, deep fry it and stir fry it. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes. There’s even shrimp burgers and a shrimp sandwiches.
Then Bubba, almost dumbfounded, looks up at Forrest and says, “Yup, that’s about it.”
We remind you of this scene only because there was such a strong connection between Bubba’s acute description of shrimp and the picture that was painted for us by lift truck manufacturers when we asked them to discuss handling equipment.
Well, you got your basic forklifts. There’s pallet trucks, walkie low lifts, rider low lifts and towing tractors. There’s rider stackers, reach trucks, tow motors, fork hoists and side loaders. And you can’t forget about telescopic handlers, order pickers, flexi trucks, bendi trucks and three-wheel stand ups.
Although Forrest had more ways to make or eat shrimp than he could ever imagine, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is that the shrimp tastes good. That’s it. Likewise, the same can be said about material handling equipment. When it comes to purchasing equipment, no matter what it is, the only thing that really matters is efficiency. There might be different styles and gear, but more than ever, today it seems that purchases are made solely to address efficiency-related issue in much-needed areas.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “Did they really just compare Purchasing Managers to a fictional shrimp boater named Bubba?” You’re damn right we did! We did so in the interest of showing consumers that when it comes to buying a forklift—no matter the make, model, or way it looks—the only thing that truly matters is its efficiency. At last, Supply Chain Digital is proud to bring you the best trucks from the best companies in the materials handling industry today. Price quotes for each of these lifts can be found at the manufacturer’s home page, which we’ve listed for you.
8-SERIES ELECTRIC 4-WHEEL CUSHION
Lifting Capacity: 4,000-6,500lbs
• Toyota SAS monitors key forklift operations, detecting and counteracting instability to help reduce the risk of tipovers.
• Touch-pad, keyless entry system with password protection option allows only designated personnel to operate the equipment.
• EZ Pedal option allows operators to quickly and easily change travel direction without removing a hand from the steering wheel or hydraulic controls.
PLATINUM QX 4-WHEEL
Lifting Capacity: 4,000-6,000lbs
• The Platinum QX 4-Wheel deploys an 80 volt, brushless AC drive motor and AC pump motor.
• A Multi-function LCD display comes full equipped with: BDI with lift interrupt, hour meters (4), speedometer, and clock.
• Nissan brings deck-mounted, separate lift/tilt hydraulic control levers, with 3-spool valve into play with the Platinum Qx.
Lifting Capacity: 3,000-4,000lbs
• The ERP-VT/VF series utilizes proven AC technology coupled with the “Intellix” VSM, providing enhanced performance throughout the usable battery discharge cycle.
• AC motors provide powerful acceleration, fast travel speeds (both with and without a load), and fast lift/lower speeds.
• Operator comfort is enhanced on the ERP_VT/VF with ample floor space, improved operator seat position, and non-cinching seat belt.
Lifting Capacity: 7,000lbs
• The H70FT’s superior airflow and choice of heavy-duty cooling systems keep heat in check, while providing world-class dependability in even the harshest of environments.
• A rear-opening one-piece hood (opens up 85 degrees) and easy-to-remove one-piece floor plate (no tools required) provide industry’s best cowl-to-counterweight service access.
• The advanced ergonomic features significantly reduce operator fatigue and increase productivity through superior operator comfort; precise, effortless handling; and easy entry and exit.
SC 4500 Series
Lifting Capacity: 3,000-4,000lbs
• A 36-volt electrical system controlled by Crown's state-of-the-art Access 1 2 3, Comprehensive System Control.
• Cornering Speed Control is a feature that automatically adjusts travel speed in turns during forward travel based on the weight on the forks, the angle of the steer tires, and the speed of the truck.
• The Intrinsic Stability System on the SC4500 includes: system controlled hydraulic speeds, travel speed control, lift/tilty interlock, stability-enhanced counterweight, cornering speed control and ramp speed control
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.